Do You Really Know Jesus the Christ?

 

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; (Philippians 3:10 KJV)

What does it mean to know someone?

It is quite funny, almost comical sometimes to hear people talk about popular or famous public figures as if they have actually met them and are their personal confidantes. They talk as if they are among the few who are privy to the intimate details of their lives. They will vouch for the authenticity of the information they are sharing but when pressed to reveal the source, it is either something they heard on Television or read in a magazine.

People go as far as owning and vouching for everything about the person, becoming so attached and willing to stand by and defend what they believe they know about the person. They believe wholeheartedly that they KNOW this public figure just because they hear him or her, read about him or her, sing his or her songs, fantasise about his or her life etc. They hang on every word he or she says. The most dangerous kind of public figures to idolise this way are the Christian public figures. Most often than not those who idolise them get traumatised by a negative occurrence in these public figures life as they simply cannot reconcile what has happened with what they believe they know about the person.

I say the most dangerous type to idolise are Christian public figures not because they are not deserving of public accolade but because they are not masters of their own destinies. Their anointing, skills, networks, organisations and very popularity are simply loaned to them and embedded in the grace of God more so than just their own hard work or merit. They are maintained by an invisible hand which cannot be controlled by any man.

‘The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up’. (1 Samuel 2:7 KJV)

‘He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and he hath set the world upon them’. (1 Samuel 2:8 KJV).

So what does it mean to know someone?

To know someone is to be intimately acquainted with all aspects of their lives by the means which they themselves open up to you to the exclusion of others. Knowing someone is a private matter not a public one. There are facets of a person that are not for public consumption. They are revealed through the daily intricacies of life when opportunities for trust and private interaction abound so that such things as have been gleaned about the person can be subjected to the rigours of testing to evidence if they be real or not.

So someone came to Jesus and called him good master. He asked him, why do you call me good? He did not ask this because he was not good but because the person’s comment was flippant and baseless and shouldn’t have been said without him proving it first.

On the contrary when it came to his disciples he made the distinction clear. He himself asked them two questions. One was about who the public thought he is and the second was who they his disciples thought he is. You see there is a distinction between the two and Jesus knew it. What the public think you are is just near the truth but not the whole truth. What the people in your private life say about you is very important and you have to ask for it because it is the real measure of your journey. It shows you what to change and it reveals to you what you are really like because they KNOW you and if you give them the permission, they can tell you who you really are. Beyond this kind of knowledge, knowing Jesus involves having a personal revelation of his divine nature as the son of God, the annointed one of God sent to earth by God to reconcile the world back to God. The testimony of men and women alone does not bring this revelation. It is the testimony of God himself through the conviction that the Holy Sprirt gives which makes this ‘Knowing’ unshakeable, valid and authentic. Otherwise it simply becomes a case of hearsay and brainwashing. The proof of the taste of the pudding is in the eating of it.

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself; he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath ot the Son of God hath not life (1 John 5:9-12 KJV)

The only way to not doubt that you truly know Jesus the Christ, the only way to prove it is if your belief in him cannot be undone by the arguments and the common sense philosophies of the world. Without this, your knowledge is vain and unreal.

Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ: not water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For, there are three that bear record in heaven, the father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. (1 John 5:5-8 KJV)

Blood and water signify humanity. That is what we are composed of as humans. Unless our human capacity agrees with what the Spirit of God is saying about who Jesus, the Christ is, we can have no real enduring knowledge of him. He came by water and blood, in otherwords he was a man like us, but beyond that he was and still is the Son of God and that is the revelation of him that makes the difference between those who really know him and those who simply know about him, have learnt about him, have read about him etc.

So in finding out whether his disciples really knew him or not, he had a conversation with them which went like this;

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar–jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ (Matthew 16:13-18 KJV).

See, in the middle of this private conversation, Jesus also shared with Peter who he sees him as. He said People see you as a stone (Simon) but I know you as a rock (Peter). Peter’s answer to Jesus was succinct and precise, not attained via public means but by a revelatory process based on what he himself had seen, heard and experienced since being with Jesus.

Apart from private knowledge via the process of private interaction, there is a higher way to know someone. Jesus demonstrated this as well in the passage above. He told Peter, the knowledge you have of me was not revealed to you by flesh and blood (human beings) but by my father in heaven.

In this day of identity crisis, where people do not even know their own selves very well and wait for public affirmation to confirm to themselves who they are, it is important to have revelatory knowledge of people from God. Otherwise we hold in high esteem those that God does not and we disdain those who God is lifting up simply because we have no revelatory knowledge of them. When dealing with people it is important to pray and ask God, ‘please show me who I am dealing with’. Sometimes we do not even know who our real enemies are and who are friends or helpers of destiny are. Yes , it is important to know your enemies so you can locate the table God is preparing for you, because he will dress your table right in their presence and if you do not want to die before your time you better know where the battle is.

‘Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more’. (2 Corinthians 5:16 KJV)

Know no man after the flesh. God does not expect you to know him after the flesh either. And yes there are people who know God through Jesus but only after the flesh. They love what he did when he was here on earth. They love the fame, the popularity and the openness with which he led his life. They love the stories of the things he did and said, they can quote him verbatim and can even make profit off what they know about him. They can even tell others about him as if he were their best friend. But they have not really known him.

Paul mentions wanting to KNOW him in our main scripture at a time when he seemed to be the one who knows him best. He however did not define what that knowing entails but said that in addition to knowing him, he Paul will like to also know the power of his resurrection, and also know the fellowship of his sufferings, and to be made comformable – modelled, redesigned, adjusted, re – fashioned according to the measurements and dimensions of his death. I don’t know about you, but apart from Paul and the other apostles in the bible I have never really met anyone in these modern days who wants their life adjusted, shaped, re- designed in conformity with death, even the death of Christ. To deserve to die like he did, nailed to a cursed cross, you will have to believe and say the non politically correct statements he made which will incite others to want to kill you. Who wants to do that? And even this kind of life, Paul considers as only an addition to actually knowing him. The actual ‘knowing him’ must really entail so much. Which is why towards the end of his life Paul was still saying things like;

‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13, 14 KJV).

It is only when you have followed unto the end that you can say you have really known someone. If you really know someone and accept them, even the threat of death will not compel you to turn away from them.

We must be willing to follow even unto death. That is the measure of a ‘calling’. The measure of a higher calling demands a higher level of following and a higher level of knowing.

‘Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him’. (1 Corinthians 8:1-3 KJV)

So next time you say you know someone ask yourself the question? What kind of knowing am I talking about? Also if they do not know you, you certainly do not know them. Real knowing happens as a transaction, as an exchange.

‘Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity’. (Matthew 7:22, 23 KJV)

‘Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ’ (Philippians 3:8 KJV).

I tell you, Paul understood very well that he had to win Christ. It had to be an exchange. Real Knowledge of Christ is not just there for the taking. It has to be saccrificed for by a willingness to make yourself known to him as well, to win him.

Even the demons know Jesus. They have to for their own protection because, when he appears they know they are done for. So you who say you know him, do you really know him?

‘Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble’. (James 2:19 KJV).

‘Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded’. (Acts 19:13-16 KJV)

Enough Said!!!

Whose Child Are You?

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3 KJV).

I have met people who if they had a choice will not belong to the biological family they belong to. They have a thing or two to say about their parents or their siblings. At the very least they harbour a secret admiration for a friend or an acquaintance’s family and wish their own family were just as rich, happy, together, loving, supportive, educated, influential as these other families are.

There is one thing however no human can do. You cannot change your birth parents. Even if you moved and grew up with another family, you will not be a bonafide member of the family unless perhaps you were legally adopted by them. You may have shared everything in common with them just like all families do but as long as you were not legally adopted, in the eyes of the law, you were never a part of them although you lived in their house and shared everything with them.

In the same way, all humans are God’s creation. We all live in his house (earth). We live off his provisions, the air we breath, water and food from the earth. In his mercy, he continues to provide sustenance for the whole earth and all it contains.

Do you know however that not everyone is a ‘child’ of God? The concept is pretty alien to some people. They ask themselves – how can God have a child? If he can, doesn’t that mean we all, his creation are his children?

No. According to the bible there is a difference between his creation and his children. God made you just like a manufacturer will make something. He also made the animals and the stars and the moon and the sun. These are not his children. Like you and I, they are first and foremost his creations.

The bible tells us of Jesus Christ as the only begotten son of God. In the begining, he already existed. He was not made like you and I were although we were made in his image and by him. He is the legitimate family of God. Together with the Holy Spirit, they are a bonded 3 persons in one.

To become a legitimate child of God and to have access to the family inheritance not only on earth but also in heaven you and I must become children of God not by a physical transaction but by a spiritual transaction whereby we are adopted as sons and daughters into God’s family with all the rights and responsibilities of sonship.

When this happens it as as though you have been ‘born again’ and are no more just a creation of God but a child of God. This happens when you accept that you are an unqualified sinner who cannot by yourself do anything to merit becoming a child of God. You ask for forgiveness of your sins and accept Jesus Christ ( the only begotten son of God) as your Lord and saviour and agree a spiritual transaction which was sealed by covenant through his sacrificial death on the cross on behalf of you and everyone who will believe. By this exchange, he is able to give you life , everlasting life , a rebirth into the family of God.

“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:10-13 KJV)”

Listen to his own words which are a response to a question about how to have eternal / everlasting life -; Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3 KJV)

Become a child of God today. It is never too late but it would be if you were to die today without completing the exchange. It is not that you are not good enough as you are. It is simply that the legal criteria for the redemption of your sins has not been met and you have automatically lost your chance to make that choice. In God’s view, everyday you live without becoming legally his, you are making the choice for which you will be held responsible. No one is exempted. No sin is too big or too inconsequential. We all need redemption. There isn’t a single person who doesn’t. The price has already been paid. Don’t waste the opportunity.

Enough Said!!!

Related articles

What Is Your Excuse?

Luke 8:25

Have you heard this question before? If God is all knowing why do we have to pray?

This reasoning is used by some to excuse their lackadaisical attitude towards things of faith. Some even use it to explain their bad actions and attitudes stating that God can see their heart and God knows their good intentions and God understands their inability to take certain action as appropriate.

Faith should however be an enabler and an impetus to spur us on to take action as appropriate to the circumstances that confront us. Faith in God should not disable us, it should enable us. Because you believe in God you take action against injustice, action against sin, action against anything that dehumanises, torments and harasses you as well as others.

It is faith that makes us speak up for others knowing that is what God expects of us and knowing that we have the victory because God is for us. Faith which is not demonstrated is dead and does not overcome challenges.

So instead of remaining in your comfort zone or feeling unable to take action or to make any effort to change your adverse circumstances, it is important that you get up to your feet and do what God expects you to do as a believer. Take action! Pray! Speak the word! Put your hands to the plough and do not look back!

The bible tells us the following:

‘For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith’. (1 John 5:4 KJV)

‘But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him’. (Hebrews 11:6 KJV)

In Luke 8:25, Jesus rebuked his disciples because they refused to exercise their faith in the face of a storm and instead were expecting that he will wake up and calm the storm on their behalf. Infact they asked him, ” don’t you care that we perish? Implying that he should know that they were unable to do anything about the raging storm themselves. And he should know that they expected him to do it for them. But this is Jesus’s response “Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him” (Luke 8:25 KJV)

Yes, with faith, even the winds and the water will obey you. But you must get up, face the storm and speak the word to the storm.

We must always exercise our faith. It is the only way to show our true colours as children of God, as overcomers in this world. Come on. Let’s make God proud and pleased with us. Lets exercise our faith today.

Enough Said!!!

Wisdom Is As Wisdom Does

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psalm 111:10 KJV).

I watched a children’s TV Program in which two competing groups played a memory and recall game. One person was given a message either verbally or by gestures without the others being allowed to see or hear the message. The message was then passed on from this person to another until it reached the last person. It emerged that the message that reached the last person although sensible was nothing like the initial message. While it was being transmitted down the chain, it got totally distorted. A message did come across but it was definitely not the intended original message.

Wisdom is quite like that. It has many variants and many who claim to be the original proponents of it. What they are in actual fact are recipients down the chain. Their message although often sensible to the carnal mind is still a distorted form of the true original.

‘There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord’.(Proverbs 21:30 KJV). The Lord is the fount of all wisdom. The source and root of all wisdom. His wisdom is so condensed and undistilled that it takes him enabling a person for them to even begin to drink from it. Any wisdom which tries to stand against the wisdom of God will ultimately prove ineffective.

An attempt to understand God using our common sense before accepting that his wisdom is supreme to all other wisdom is a futile attempt. His wisdom is too deep to be fathomed without his help. He is the only one who can reveal it to you. It is not found in education, in much learning or any other such endeavours of man. When you get an education you only get knowledge. It takes wisdom however to make full, purposeful use of that knowledge and if this wisdom is not the God Kind of wisdom, your acheivements do not necessarily ultimately last nor are they optimally beneficial to you. But God can give you the total package, wisdom and with the wisdom, knowledge and understanding which will not destroy or harm you but will truly build you up.

‘But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living'(Job 28:12, 13 KJV).

‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts’. (Isaiah 55:8, 9 KJV).

‘For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding’. (Proverbs 2:6 KJV)

God’s wisdom is priceless. There is nothing you can give in exchange for it. The only way to access God’s wisdom is to reverence him enough to begin to do his commandments even if they are meaningless to you to start with. God’s commandments are actually more for our benefit than his. How does it affect God for example, if you steal or kill someone? The person it affects most is yourself and others of the human race. You may very well be caught and incarcerated and the blemish and consequences of your actions will follow you forever.

However, as you begin to do God’s commandments, your own life becomes safeguarded. You begin to see in retrospect snippets of what obeying God has saved you from. As we submit and obey him by doing his commandments, we begin to gain ‘good understanding’ not only of him but of ourselves, our own potentials and abilities and uniqueness and value which until then had mostly been locked away from us. We then feel empowered for the best in us to be released. We begin to access true wisdom. Godly wisdom. We begin to understand God’s ways and his work and we can then follow him even more closely without unnecessary deviations from his plans and intentions for us.That is why the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Nothing and no one is inaccesible to you if you are operating by the wisdon of God. He is able by that wisdom to direct every network, every resource and every promotion that you need to you. It is simply a process of time and of obedience to his commands.

‘And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart’.(1 Kings 10:24 KJV).

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her. The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. (Proverbs 3:13-19 KJV).

Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:……… saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: (Proverbs 1:20-23, 27-29 KJV).

Before you start trying to define exactly what wisdom is and whether yo have it or not, it is better to just start to journey to it in the way prescribed by God. Start by obeying his commandments. Do what he says. Please my friends, let’s choose the fear of the Lord. Let’s order our lives aright. True wisdom will be within our reach.

“Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20 KJV).

‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding’. (Proverbs 4:7 KJV).

Enough Said!!!!

A Modern Day Dilemma

1 John 4:1

I am constantly astounded at the speed with which technological advancements take place. Almost everything can be done instantly now. Information can be accessed and shared instantly. There is an explosion of all kinds of information both good and obscene ones. It is like an avalanche that carries everyone and everything with it. Even those who try to resist are inevitably caught in it’s web.

Take Facebook for instance. There are people on Facebook now who previously shun away from any kind of social networking but are presently hooked on it, myself included.

It is clear that in our present generation you almost cannot hide from technological advancement particularly information technology. It is in your face every where you turn. It is inevitable therefore that without quite being aware of it our mental stance and attitudes will be impacted by all the different things we see and hear everyday so much so that in this modern day even the self proclaimed conservative person usually ends up having some liberal perceptions towards certain things consciously or unconsciously.

The world is gradually being forced to consider everybody’s point of view or at least be tolerant towards it. That is the politically correct thing to do. Right or wrong has become very subjective. It depends on who you are talking to. It is difficult to find people who are true to themselves and stand for one thing only and maintain that stance.

When it comes to religion for example it is the age of pick and mix. Take what you think is good from each, mix it up and come up with your own customised version of a Religion. I, for one am weary of the term Christian now. Not all Christians believe singularly in the word of God. The minute you catch yourself saying; ‘I am a Christian, but…..’ then my friend you’re in trouble. It is difficult nowadays to find unadulterated, authentic preaching of the bible. If you listen carefully there seem to always be qualifiers. I believe in God but….., I believe the bible but……., I go to church but…….,

This situation looks set to get worse. As a Christian , it not only impacts on you but on your children and your children’s children. The generations to come. What will their mind set be? How will they treat the word of God and things of God? What new philosophies will develop to confuse them; even worse to dilute what we pass on to them? It is a serious situation.

The solution if you are a Christian is to re- evaluate your own beliefs and values and see if they truly conform to the word of God or whether they have been diluted by the world around you? The bible says: ‘Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall’. (1 Corinthians 10:12 KJV).

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. (Hebrews 2:1 KJV).

The Christian message or gospel is clear in what it says. Jesus is the only way to God. The only mediator. The one who died and shed his blood for the redemption of the lost. It is God’s will that none of us will be lost but that we will all be reconciled to him. If you reject Jesus, you reject God’s provision for your redemption. He is the only way. It does not matter what you have heard and what is attempting to influence you. There aren’t many ways to God with Jesus as an option. Get on track. Do not be deceived.  The criteria is clear. If you do not meet it, you are out. This is what Jesus says; ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a theif. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth;and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And  when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers’. John 10:1-5 KJV).

‘For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus‘.(1 Timothy 2:5). ‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me’.(John 14: 6)

If you are Christian and you hold this belief, then there is no room for any other beliefs and there are no ‘buts’. For the sake of your children and your children’s children make sure you pass on a true legacy that nothing and no one in the world can take away from them, a solid unadulterated faith:

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:1-6 KJV).

Enough Said!!!

Purpose needs Opportunity. Opportunity is of no use without Preparation.

2 Peter 3:8

When I was at school, both through my secondary education as well as college, I always purposed at the beginning of every new term that come the end of term I will be very prepared for the final examinations. I usually start of very well, with good planning, attending every lecture, setting time aside for study, adhering to my timetable.

Unfortunately, this often does not last for too long before I start trying to take things a bit easier, telling myself the end of term is still some time away and that I did not need to be so hard on myself. Almost too soon, the examinations timetable will be out at which time I begin to realise that there was no longer enough time to prepare. That is when the late night coffee and sleepless nights begin. What this demonstrated to me was that even when purposes and timings are known, preparation can be difficult to maintain.

When it comes to our life’s purpose, our destinies, time is not something we can control. It will not move faster than 24 hours a day and it will not go slower than that either. Time does not respect deadlines. It does it’s thing irrespective of who it affects and how it affects them. Our destinies, our futures, our dreams, our expectations, our purposes are always locked away in time waiting to be unraveled. All we can do each day we are alive is to prepare to make them a reality by wisely using the opportunities that come our way.

There are however those who work hard, do the best they can but feel that their breakthroughs never seem to come. They seem to have a lot of motion but no progress.There are others who get the breaks they need at the right times and appear to have mastered the rhythm of life. The wise man Solomon in the bible puts it this way:

‘I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them. (Ecclesiastes 9:11, 12 KJV).

Time and Chance (opportunities), they make the difference. Both of these unfortunately are out of our control. They are out of our control for a reason. There is a purpose for your life, for which cause, you were born and allotted a specific amount of time to live to fulfil that purpose. God is the one who knows this purpose and the time allotted to you and the opportunities you need for this purpose to be established. He alone therefore maintains control over both time and opportunities. The most important thing to him is that you fulfil your purpose and not necessarily the longevity of your life or the abundance of the opportunities he brings your way.

Time and opportunities are means to an end as far as God is concerned. Purpose is the deciding factor when it comes to how much time and opportunities he gives you. He therefore uses them (time and opportunity) to prepare you for purpose.It is a tragedy therefore to live without identifying your God ordained purpose. You will most likely be wasting the time and opportunities that come your way. You can’t afford  to do so because their supply as far as you are concerned is limited.

God on the otherhand walks in purpose and he subjects time to purpose. (“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day”. (2 Peter 3:8 KJV))

You unlike God,can only walk in time to fulfil an assigned purpose. When the allotted time for that purpose is up, there is nothing you can do to change it. But it will be a tragedy for your time to be up and the purpose allotted to it and to your life has not been achieved.

But how can your purpose be achieved, if you spend your time refusing to be submitted to God and to be accountable to him so he can lead and direct you? You may seem successful at what you spend your time doing but is that the reason God is keeping you alive? Remember, there is no extra time once your time is up.

The Psalmist understood this and so prayed; ‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom’.(Psalm 90:10-12 KJV).

While you are still alive, now is the time to allign yourself with God, so you can spend your time making the right preparation for the God ordained opportunities coming your way. Remember they are linked to your purpose. However if you are spending your time preparing for the wrong thing, you will miss those opportunities, then you have no one to blame but yourself.

You can live a very long life and never fulfil your purpose because your preparation and opportunities never matched or synchronised. Your end will be full of regret and disillusionment. You can also live a short life but achieve all that God intended for you to achieve, in his way and in his time. That is fulfilling. Whether time and opportunities are on your side or not the most important thing is that you have lived the life God purposed for you. At the end of which you will hear him call you a good and a faithful servant / steward. My advice to you is as follows:

‘……..Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation’. (Hebrews 3:15 KJV).

Enough Said!!!

The Best Gift Is You. Please Dont Give Me Less

 

I am my beloved‘s, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.(Song of Solomon 6:3 KJV)

It is often said that we are defined by our relationships. The best way to know who you are is to have a look at who you associate with. One’s influence is most felt by those one interacts with on a regular basis.

In a relationship where there is no interaction the bond soon wears off and it becomes a relationship in name only. Therefore there are many who base the value of their relationships on the frequency of interaction between them and the people they are in relationship with. Others base it on the gifts they receive from each other or other tokens of friendship. The more a person is able to lavish these tokens on you the more valuable the relationship is.

This fickle basis of estimating a relationship’s value is often pushed by motivational and self development experts. What you end up hearing is this; ‘if a person does not seem to be adding value to your relationship with them then they are of no use to you. Cut them off’.

But that is not God‘s way. If it was, many of us will have been cut off long ago. The value of a relationship should be decided from the beginning. In which case, distance, lapse of time, challenges etc do not devalue it. God made a decision to love you even before you got your act together. If something or someone is not worth giving yourself to from the beginning then no amount of gifts or interaction can change that. If these can change that, then you are either being bribed or a wrong estimation or assessment was made by you in the first place.

Relationships should be based on conviction. They should not be entered irresponsibly. The question is, will you be satisfied with me as I am if what you see now is what you will get for always? Or are there strings attached to your friendship. I have found in my own experience that the best relationships are those where there is an understanding and an agreement right from the start whether spoken or unspoken that both parties are convicted and convinced of each other’s value and therefore pledge their very selves to each other. There is an unspoken acknowledgement that what I am giving you is myself and there is nothing more valuable than that that I can give to prove your value to me. The time, the interaction and the gifts are things and only cement our relationship but even without them, your value to each other does not diminish. Greater love has no man than this; that a man will lay down his life for his friend. Beyond the gidfts and other tokens of friendship, what we should rather look for is the heart behind the actions. Are you giving and receiving the invaluable gifts of one another’s self(s) or are your friendships wholly superficial.

You should be able to say, ‘I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine’. No doubts about it. Our gift to each other is ourselves and not things. Without the giving of ourselves, the pledging of our loyalty and faithfulness from the very beginning, our relationships become too high maintenance and tasking and draining. But where there is genuine giving of ourselves first and foremost, the rest flows naturally. Relationships do need evaluation but that evaluation is not based on the receipt and givinng of tokens. It is based on whether you still have the heart, the true self of the other.

If you are finding your relationships tasking and burdensome, then ask yourself the question? What is my investment in this relationship? Have I given myself? Am I my beloved’s and is my beloved mine? If this equation is unbalanced and you are trying to balance it off with gifts, attention and the like, then you are in for a disaster as this is not maintainable long term. True friends are friends for life. They have been thoroughly persuaded of each others value from the start. They are not forever walking on egg shells trying to prove themselves to each other. That my friend is slavery not a relationship.

Enough Said!!!!